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'Ugly Betty': Hurts so good

November 9, 2007 | 11:08 pm

HenrybettyWhat are we supposed to do with Henry, the accountant who won over Betty's heart (and ours) with his nerdy charm and jousting ineptitude on display at the Middle Ages?

Didja have to go and impregnate Charlie? Do you have to keep reeling us in with moments like "Wicked. Wicked awesome!" last week or last night, when you forced Betty to ditch you (once again) and attend her father's citizenship ceremony? 

What's for sure is that Betty is headed for some big-time heartache, and it's all made for some of the best "Ugly Betty" episodes to date.

"Betty" haters complain that the show is too "cartoon" and that it skews heavily female. But what other show can be the best comedy and drama on broadcast TV at once?

Much like the first-season finale -- a roller coaster of gut-busting and gut-wrenching emotion -- last night's episode once again pulled our collective gut in all directions (and we're still deliciously dizzy):

First things first: Posh Spice did herself justice. She lampooned her own fame with ease and even got to hawk a faux Beckham energy drink with the tagline "It's Beck-mmmm!" (The same can't quite be said for Vera Wang, who rushed through her cameo, which thankfully included Victoria.)

Betty and Henry moved in together -- temporarily. And while they excitedly made "couple" plans for the future, Betty was seized by another reminder that their bliss would end in five short months. Get your tissues ready. (On a related note: We hear Betty's other love interest, Gio, won't be making another appearance until mid-December.)

Three words: Amanda. Singing. "Milkshake." When's the last time anything on those super-sized "The Office" episodes made you laugh this hard?

Christina's husband, the recovering alcoholic she left years ago, pops back into her life. After he makes amends and the two indulge in a quick romp in Mode's secret sex room, she discovers that he's dying. More tissues.

Marc and his new boyfriend, Cliff, break up and make up. Remember when he stood up to his mom (Patti Lupone) last season? This was just as good. Maybe even better because Amanda got to be the grown-up for a change. 

Daniel and Betty fight over lies and Bradford has a heart attack. After Betty confesses to Daniel that she withheld information that would have killed the romance between Bradford and Wilhelmina, he impulsively fires her. (That's short-lived: Next week's preview showed him asking her back). Daniel confronts his Dad, who won't hear the truth, and moments later Bradford collapses on the altar before he can say "I do."

Next week: Claire (Judith Light) is back on the scene. Finally. We're only slightly creeped out with all the lovemaking between Wilhelmina and her bodyguard (Vanessa Williams' real-life ex, Rick Fox).

Photo: ABC

-- Denise Martin


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Larry

Gilmore Girls did that year after year. It WAS the best comedy and drama. It is one of the only shows that I have ever seen where the people were real and deep and flawed and their lives were not a soap opera.

Ugly Betty is good but it is also cartoonish in a very soap opera way which I can only assume is intentional. And it does get tiring for bad thing after bad thing after bad thing after bad thing after bad thing to keep happening to the characters. Yes the ones we care about mostly overcome it, but geeze life can also be pretty good for more than a day at a time as well. And creative writers CAN and Do make that entertaining as well.

It is one of the big shames of the last 7 years that Gilmore Girls was on WB. If it was on any of the big 3 networks I have to believe it would have gotten dozens of emmys. Am I biased, you bet. But I have seen no show live up to Gilmore Girls over its run. Ugly Betty is good, but it is too much of a soap opera, too cartoonish in too many ways, to ever be better than good.


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